Hygge: a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being - Oxford English Dictionary
And right now, nothing is more on trend than Hygge. Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, this 18th century Danish phenomenon is the 21st century trend that everyone is going crazy for.
Lots of people buy into it for their home. But what about your homepage? Indeed, what about your entire website?
Creating that feeling of welcome, where people want to spend time, to dwell, is the ultimate aim for any online retailer: as the world continues to run at speed away from bricks and mortar shopping, it’s essential to recreate the EXPERIENCE online. With catalogues in decline, something needs to step into the void they’ve left. That makes the perfect opportunity for on-sofa scrolling, replacing glossy paper with a sharp screen that features high end photography of aspirational homes, must have technology and accessories, or fabulous fashion, just for example.
Take, for example, the homewares market alone: perfect for a Hygge-inspired website, the market is potentially worth £230 million A WEEK!
Your marketplace might not have quite that potential, but where the stakes are higher, the need to create an outstanding, stand out experience is even greater.
But how do you bring sales home with Hygge? It’s not a technical thing. You can’t tweak your approach the way you might with AdWords to see what works and what doesn’t. Hygge is a philosophy that informs everything else: it’s a tone and style that delivers feel good, an emotional response. And while there is no direct English translation, it can be summed up as enjoying life, living in the moment and creating joy.
Think sanctuary. Serenity. Simplicity. And, most importantly, shared.
If your online store inspires people to hang out and to share it with their friends and family, you’re halfway there.
But where do you start? Whether you already have an online store or are just setting up, there are a few basic principles you should follow to achieve Hygge heaven…
Your online store needs to be an oasis in the desert, a refuge, an escape to calm in a busy world. At heart, Hygge is all about wellness and creating a happier life. So if you can create that feeling when potential buyers are browsing, you’re already giving them a taste of the kind of cool style your products will help to create in their lives.
Serenity is a feeling. You can create it in your online store by using the best possible imagery – bespoke if budget allows – showcasing your products in their best light. That might be a whole room setting, a combination of complimentary products or close ups of beautiful details: think quality, ooze style.
This should be easy: there are just two areas you need to focus on when it comes to keeping things simple: your content and your route to checkout. Easy, soft, feel good language is key to invoking Hygge for a reader who is or wants to be in a serene state of mind. It should be on your homepage, in your ‘About Us’ and, most importantly, in your product descriptions. For visitors who don’t know you arriving from a Google search, it’s your first (maybe only) opportunity to get them to buy into your overall offering and stay on site. Getting them to checkout in a few clicks clinches the deal – and leaves them more inclined to come back.
The golden ticket of online shopping and the most authentic amplifier of word of mouth, getting people to share your content and products is an easy win – if you know how to do it. Hygge IS sharing: your buyers are setting out to be part of something cool and stylish that they can share with friends and family. Firstly, it might be natural that they might want a second opinion on those shoes or that technology: making it easy for them to share, add to their Pinterest or show off on Facebook is something that keeps the conversation going, drives sales and can give you invaluable feedback on shaping your product range for next season.
One more Hygge ‘S’ while you’re here, and the only one that has any sense of urgency or pressure:
Whether you’re new to online retailing or a seasoned store owner, there’s nothing like getting stuck in. Waiting until everything is perfect can backfire if you don’t know your audience inside out, wasting time and effort on a site that just doesn’t gel with what your audience wants.
And this is the real beauty of the Hygge approach: it’s a shared experience, created from conversations and feedback and group (family) consensus. The more you can encourage people to be part of the experience, the more they’ll want to be.
So build a basic store. Get it online as soon as you can and as well as you can. Invest in the best photography you can and keep the design as clean and simple as you can. Set a warm tone with easy language. And let people talk. You’ll hear lots of good, store-building stuff.
The faster you can start telling people about your business, building links and marketing, the better.